La Union Travel Guide
La Union is one of the most popular tourist destinations up north of Metro Manila. Being the surfing capital of Northern Luzon, this place becomes very busy from October to March, when the waves swell. While surfing remains the primary reason why tourists visit La Union, more and more sites are starting to come into view. The province also cradles other impressive and beautiful sceneries such as Pindangan Ruins, Ma Cho Temple, La Union Botanical Garden, La Union Centennial Tree, and Arosip Ecotrail.
How to Get to La Union from Metro Manila
The road trip from Manila to La Union used to take 5-6 hours. Now, with the newly constructed TPLEX or Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, travel time was lessened down to 4 hours.
- You can take buses bound for Laoag from Cubao. Partas Transport travels to Laoag every hour, 24/7.
- Alight at Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union, the surfing site where you can find a lot of beach-front resorts. You may also opt to travel from Manila to San Fernando, La Union by bus and then take a short jeep ride to San Juan.
Other bus companies enroute to La Union are as follows:
Sampaloc, Manila terminal – Autobus Transport Systems, Farinas Transit Company, Franco Frederico Lines, RCJ Transit, Viron Transportation Company, Maria de Leon
Cubao, Quezon City Terminal – Dominion Transit Location, Martinez Trans
Others: Genesis Bus Lines (Avenida, Rizal, Manila), Philippine Rabbit Business Lines Incorporated (EDSA, Quezon City).
Places to Visit & Things to Do in La Union
Surfing in La Union – a visit in the province of La Union is not complete if you can’t dance with its famous waves. Make sure that you try surfing once you set your feet in this province. (We will write a separate, more detailed entry about La Union surfing) (PhP400 PER HOUR OF SURFING WITH INSTRUCTOR ** PhP200 SURF RENTAL/1 HOUR)
Arosip Ecotrail – this place offers visitors a nice adventure with Mother Nature, complete with the cool shades of towering trees and magnificent views. For those looking for a challenging adventure, the Arosip Ecotrail is the perfect place. The highest point of the trail is 440MASL; it gives way to the scenic lowland Bacnotan, national highway, West Philippine Sea, and other prominent structures or landmarks of the province. The 45-minute trek composed of several ascends and descends showcases four wonderful waterfalls: (a) The Zim-sim-ug Twin Falls which has an estimated height of 20ft and a basin deep of 8-9ft; (b) Pad-tok Falls with an estimated height of 22ft with shallow basin. The combined water of the two falls all meet in one main waterfalls called (c) Tekdag-aso Falls which is located west of the bedrock. Below this waterfalls is a wide secondary basin which is best for swimming.
Centennial Tree – In Barangay Carcarmay (Carcarmay Elementary School) stands the towering La Union Centennial Tree. It has a trunk so big that it requires more than 10 people holding each other hands to embrace its diameter. According to stories certified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, this centennial tree has been planted way back 1896. (NO ENTRANCE FEE)
La Union Botanical Garden – Somewhere in Brgy. Cadaclan San Fernando, La Union lies the five hectare botanical garden. A recreational park that pride itself as a research and conservation center of flora in the province. Several species of birds and other animals can also be found in the area. It has paved trails made for easy walk and better accessibility when touring the place. (PhP10 ENTRANCE FEE)
Pindangan Ruins – these ruins in Brgy. Perian, San Fernando, La Union are remnants of an old church built in May 6, 1786 after being destroyed by an earthquake in 1892. Pindangan Ruins is just several meters away from the National Road and lies near Camp Oscar Florendo, the Regional Headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and just beside Carmelite Sisters monastery. (NO ENTRANCE FEE)
Ma Cho Temple – this intricate structure in Barangay II, San Fernando, La Union (along the national highway, Quezon Avenue) has an elevation of 70MASL. It is a 7-storey, 11-tiered towering temple boasting multi-hued attraction that captures the heart of many visitors. Adorned by Chinese motif of Taipei lions and dragons and accented with massive stones, you will definitely be impressed by its beauty. Many had been amazed by its original spider-typed dome with the interlinking wood carvings of saints. Ma-Cho Temple is also open to the worshipers and non-worshipers alike. (NO ENTRANCE FEE)
Other Attractions: La Union Provincial Capitol, Baluarte Watch Tower, Centennial Tunnel, World War II Vintage Canon, Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, Our Lady of Namacpacan, Cathedral of St. William the Hermit, St. Christopher Parish, St. John the Baptist Parish, Sts. Peter; Paul Parish and St. Michael, the Archangel Parish, inter alia. Museo de Iloko, Museo de San Juan, Bolikewkew Rice, Bambana Natural Cove Formation, Terraces, Amburayan River, Tapuacan River, Thunderbird Resort, Poro Point Boardwalk, La Union Medical Center, Eagle of the North Park, Imelda Garden, Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, Hanging Bridge and Bacsil Ridge, and Grapes Picking in Bauan.
Where to Stay in La Union
There are a lot of available hotels/resorts in La Union. You can check AirBnB or book online. We have provided four options below which you might want to check. Just click on the photo for booking and further details.
We encourage that you check online ratings and reviews before booking in order to manage expectations.
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